If my father were still alive, he would have been 101 years old on December 9th.
Instead, he died at the age I am now, of a massive heart attack.
So clearly (and understandably), heart attack prevention is very near and dear to me, and I have spent the better part of my adult life making sure that my Dad’s fate does not become mine.
Unfortunately, when it comes to heart attacks, there is a lot of misleading information out there…and not having the truth about heart attacks can cost someone their life.
So I’m here to set the record straight and help as many people as I can to keep a heart attack out of their future.
Let’s start with…
The chilling statistics
Every 40 seconds, someone in the US is having a heart attack, and they stand about a 15 percent chance of dying from it.
Approximately 790,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.
At least 70 percent of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart attack. These risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, a nutrient-poor processed food diet, physical inactivity, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Sadly, many people have multiple risk factors, and as you would expect, that causes your heart attack risk to go through the roof.
The warning signs
Although TV shows and movies typically show somebody gripping their chest and falling over with a heart attack (picture Fred Sanford of Sanford and Son), a heart attack may be much more subtle and sneaky than that.
Plus, the symptoms can be different for men versus women!
Here are the well-known and not-so-common signs of heart attack in men and women:
- Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. Men have described it as uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This can affect one or both arms, the back, the neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
- Although women can also feel chest discomfort like men, they are far more likely to experience severe shortness of breath.
- Other common symptoms in women include cold sweats, stomach pain, and even fatigue.
- Women are also more likely to feel nauseous and/or vomit.
- Extreme dizziness or lightheadedness are common.
- Sharp arm, back, neck and jaw pain are also more common in women than in men.
If the moment occurs—Don’t wait!
If you even remotely suspect you’re having a heart attack, don’t wait—call 911!
If that is not an option, have someone drive you to the closest ER or call an ambulance.
Also, you can chew and swallow an aspirin, unless you are allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor not to take it.
Prevention is crucial!
The best way to ensure your number does not come up in the heart attack lottery is to help prevent one from occurring in the first place!
Here are some ways you can stack the deck in your favor:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids[[big]]
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been shown to be an important tool to help prevent heart attacks in these five ways:
1) They've been medically proven to help lower blood pressure. Studies show that daily fish oil supplementation alone can lower your systolic (the top number) pressure by five points or more and your diastolic (the bottom number) pressure by three points or more.
2) They have anti-inflammatory properties, and heart disease is characterized by inflammation in your arteries.
3) Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce dangerous LDL cholesterol.
4) They also help raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
5) Omega-3 fatty acids help keep blood clots from forming by reducing the stickiness in your platelets and curbing the production of fibrinogens--protein strands that can get tangled up with platelets and result in a clot.
And if you've reached the crucial moment and are having a heart attack, whether or not you survive depends on your heart's reaction. Omega-3 EFAs can help by stabilizing your heartbeat and preventing arrhythmia.
Unfortunately, our diets don’t provide the Omega-3 EFAs that they once did because the animals raised for our food supply are fed grains (which are loaded with inflammatory Omega-6 fats), instead of grazing in pastures like they used to, which provided Omega-3 fats.
So, the best way to ensure you have heart health-supporting levels of these crucial nutrients is to supplement with a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
VitalMega-3 provides a whopping 1,200 mg of pure, pharmaceutical-grade Omega-3 fatty acids in every daily 2-capsule dose, including the Superstars of the Omega-3 fats--EPA and DHA!
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that can counteract inflammation in your arteries. It’s also a common deficiency because so many people completely shun the sun, and your body needs sun exposure (and cholesterol!) to manufacture vitamin D.
To ensure you have proper levels of this heart-healthy nutrient, supplementation with a top-notch formula like Optimum D-K Formula with FruiteX-B® is the way to go.
Optimum DK Formula provides a therapeutic 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 in every daily dose, plus its partners Vitamin K and the mineral boron that also help support a healthy cardiovascular system!
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Concentrate on real foods like fresh vegetables, fresh fruit in moderation (1-2 servings a day), meats, poultry, fish, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil and real butter (never, EVER margarine).
And even more important is to avoid refined sugars and starchy carbs, and all processed foods.
Sugars and starchy carbs such as breads, pasta, rice and crackers (even if they’re whole grain) can create surges of glucose in your bloodstream, signaling your pancreas to secrete insulin. Over time this can set the stage for insulin resistance, and high levels of glucose and insulin your blood, which stirs up inflammation.
Some processed foods still contain trans-fats, and even if they don’t, they’re loaded with chemicals and preservatives and are likely made with GE ingredients to boot.
Lastly, please get the old, tired idea out of your head that ALL saturated fats are bad for you. Your body needs saturated fats, and that includes your heart and nervous system.
Moderation is the key, and when you’re talking about red meat that means a 3-4 oz. serving—not a 24-oz. porterhouse.
Get regular exercise
Regular exercise reduces your risk of high blood pressure alone by 30 percent! It also strengthens your heart, increases “good” HDL cholesterol and lowers your triglycerides.
Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK first (trust me, he or she will be thrilled!), pick an activity you like (even brisk walking is great), and GET MOVING!
Do what you need to do to preserve the health of your precious heart! Your loved ones will be forever grateful.
To your health,
Messages like yours remind me often of how I should take care of this body. Thank you and Merry Christmas.